Southern Australian Birding & Wildlife Tour

This tour is led by renowned biologist Dr Tonia Cochran who has more than 30 years experience in ecotourism in Australia. She is a qualified Biologist (Bachelor of Science in Botany and Zoology, with Honours and PhD degrees in Zoology) with a broad knowledge of Australian marine and terrestrial fauna and flora and she draws on her years of field experience and her wide-ranging academic and teaching background to design and lead exceptional birding and wildlife tours throughout Australia.

This tour is the second part of our ‘Best of Australian Wildlife’ tour, which can be booked alone or combined with the Northern Australian Birding & Wildlife tour to make it a 28-day experience.

This Southern Australian sector covers iconic areas such as Lamington National Park in southern Queensland, Kangaroo Island in South Australia and Bruny Island, Mt Field National Park and Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania.

AT A GLANCE

Dates15 – 28 September 2021
Activity LevelEasy to moderate
Prices$13,625 per person twin share
$16,955 single per person
Group SizeMinimum 10, maximum 12 guests
Featuring regionsSouthern Queensland: Lamington National Park
South Australia: Kangaroo Island
Tasmania: Bruny Island, Mt Field National Park and Cradle Mountain National Park

ITINERARY

Wednesday, 15 September 2021 – Arrival Brisbane to Lamington National Park

We will meet participants who are joining us for the Southern Australian tour on our arrival in Brisbane and then travel to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat on the plateau in the World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park, one of the best-known birding locations in Australia and home to a rich assemblage of birds and mammals. This afternoon there will time for a first stroll in our lush rainforest surroundings. 

Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

Lunch and dinner provided.

Thursday, 16 September & Friday, 17 September 2021 – Lamington National Park

We have two full days to explore the areas around the lodge for birds and wildlife. Many of Australia’s best-known bird families are represented here, as are a range of the country’s endemic and most striking species, some of which occur right in the lodge grounds. You don’t have to venture far to see king parrots, crimson rosellas, Lewin’s honeyeaters, the handsome eastern spinebill and superb fairy- wrens. Additional birding highlights include the Australian brush-turkey, wonga and topknot pigeons, the stunning noisy pitta, sought-after Albert’s lyrebirds, green catbirds, the gaudy regent bowerbird, logrunners and paradise riflebirds (displaying, with luck!). The area is also good for mammal watching and by night we may see mountain brushtail possums, while by day red-legged and red-necked pademelons are regularly encountered. 

Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.

Saturday, 18 September 2021 – Lamington to Brisbane to Adelaide

This morning we will leave O’Reilly’s and wind our way down the mountain to return to Brisbane airport for our flight to Adelaide (we recommend the best flight option is a direct Qantas flight Brisbane – Adelaide 16:15–18:25 or Jetstar flight 13:25–15:40; based on the current 2021 flight schedules). On our arrival in Adelaide, we will transfer to our hotel with time for some local exploring in the botanic gardens before dinner.

Accommodation: Grand Chancellor Hotel

Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.

Sunday, 19 September & Monday, 20 September 2021 – Adelaide to Kangaroo Island

This morning we will transfer to Adelaide airport for our flight to Kangaroo Island (the best flight option is Qantas flight Adelaide – Kingscote 08:40–09:15 based on the current 2021 flight schedules). We will spend two full days exploring Kangaroo Island. During our stay here we will search for koalas (which have been introduced to the island) and visit a conservation park that is home to tammar wallabies (a species that is almost extinct on the adjoining mainland) and Kangaroo Island kangaroo (a subspecies of western grey kangaroo that only occurs here). We will also visit a beautiful sandy beach to see Australian sea lions, watch their pups nursing, or playing in the surf, see old bulls bearing the scars of territorial disputes and learn about their unique breeding biology. Nearby Cape du Couedic is also home to a long-nosed (New Zealand) fur seal colony, which now number more than 50,000 after being decimated by hunting in the early 1800s. We should also be able to see some Australian fur seals and we will also look for short-beaked echidnas (a distinct sub-species lives on the island). The island is also home to a range of rare birds including Cape Barren geese and glossy black cockatoos. Our accommodation is situated near a known black cockatoo roost, which will maximise our chances of seeing this beautiful endangered species. Late afternoon on our second day of touring we will transfer back to Kingscote airport for our flight back to Adelaide (the best flight option is Qantas flight Kingscote – Adelaide 19:45–20:25 based on current 2021 flight schedule). 

Accommodation: Kangaroo Island Lodge (Bay View Room) on night 5 and Hotel Grand Chancellor Adelaide on night 6.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided on both days.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021 – Adelaide to Hobart

This morning we will transfer back to Adelaide airport for our flight to Hobart where we will start our Tasmanian adventure (the best flight option is Qantas flight Adelaide – Melbourne 06:05–07:55 and Melbourne – Hobart 08:25–09:40 based on current 2021 flight schedule). On arrival at Hobart, we begin our explorations of spectacular Tasmania by visiting several reserves in the Hobart area including Mount Wellington. This mountain, at a height of 1270m, affords spectacular views of the city and surrounding landscape on a clear day. Here we will also take a walk through a fern glade with towering tree ferns where we have our first chance to see the endemic and rather shy scrubtit as well as Tasmanian scrubwren and the stunning pink robin. Further endemic highlights we will look for today include the green rosella, Tasmanian native hen, black currawong and yellow wattlebird

Accommodation: The Old Woolstore Hotel

Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021 – Hobart to Bruny Island

This morning we will travel to Bruny Island. Situated 40km south of Hobart, Bruny Island is separated from the Tasmanian mainland by the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and accessed by a vehicle ferry. The ferry trip takes approximately 15 minutes where one can enjoy some wonderful scenery and possibly see little penguins or dolphins alongside the ferry. We will travel to ‘Inala’, a privately owned 1500-acre wildlife sanctuary that is home to all 12 Tasmanian endemic bird species including one of the largest-known colonies of endangered forty-spotted pardalote. Strong-billed, yellow-throated and black-headed honeyeaters, dusky robins and green rosellas are also regulars here. Several hides and platforms have also been built around the property and provide close views of some very special species, including a variety of raptors. If we are fortunate, we may encounter the striking white morph grey goshawks, which are residents of Inala Reserve. The main mammal species we are likely to see here are the red-necked (Bennett’s) wallaby and Tasmanian pademelon. We will also take time to enjoy the interesting flora of the area, including Tasmanian endemic species and relics from the ancient Gondwanan supercontinent. This afternoon we will visit Bruny’s southern coastline to view the second-oldest lighthouse in Australia and search for species such as the tawny-crowned honeyeater, olive whistler and yellow-tailed black-cockatoo. Here we also have a chance to see the Tasmanian subspecies of the short- beaked echidna. After dinner, we will visit the little penguin and short-tailed shearwater colony to view these species at their burrows.

Accommodation: Inala & Nairana Cottages at Inala and additional cottages nearby, Bruny Island. 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.

Thursday, 23 September 2021 – Bruny Island

This morning after breakfast we’ll join a wilderness cruise to Bruny’s southern coastline for the opportunity to see some spectacular coastal scenery and visit an Australian fur seal haul-out (weather permitting). This also provides the opportunity to see a range of seabirds including albatross (shy albatross is the most common species seen), black-faced cormorants and possibly also common diving petrels. A range of cetaceans such as bottle-nosed and common dolphins and humpbacked and southern right whale are also possible on this trip. This afternoon we will have the chance to explore historic and scenically beautiful Adventure Bay. There are possibilities for some beach walks where we may see hooded plover, and we will visit a cool temperate rainforest. We will also search for Bruny’s rare and famous “white wallabies”, which are an almost albino genetic variation of the Bennett’s wallaby. We will enjoy another night trip tonight, for the chance to see a range of Tasmania’s nocturnal marsupials, including Tasmanian pademelon, eastern quoll (a relative of the Tasmanian devil), Bennett’s wallaby and brush-tailed possums, which also rarely occur as a golden colour form here. We also have a good chance of seeing long-nosed potoroo

Accommodation: Inala & Nairana Cottages at Inala and additional cottages nearby, Bruny Island as for last night. 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.

Friday, 24 September 2021 – Bruny Island to Mt Field National Park

This morning we will depart Bruny Island and travel to Mount Field National Park. This area is a great place to experience a range of habitats from fern gullies with waterfalls, to alpine heathland and cool temperate rainforest boasting some of the tallest eucalyptus in Australia. Today we have a good chance of seeing the bizarre platypus, the other species of Australian monotreme. In the late afternoon, we will make our way out of the park to a nearby farm-stay where we will spend the night. 

Accommodation: Curringa Farm cottages, Hamilton (en suite cottage style). 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.

Saturday, 25 September 2021 – Mt Field to Cradle Mountain National Park

This morning we will leave the Mt Field area and travel towards Cradle Mountain. We will stop en route at points of interest during the day and will arrive at our accommodation near the national park in the late afternoon. 

Accommodation: Cradle Mountain Hotel (en suite rooms), Cradle Mountain. 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.

Sunday, 26 September 2021 – Cradle Mountain National Park

Today we have a full day to explore the Cradle Mountain area. We will search for one more of Tasmania’s endemic bird species, such as the black currawong, which is common in these areas of higher altitude. This is also a good area to view common wombat. We will also enjoy some of the interesting plants found here, which include ancient rainforest species and Gondwanan relics such as pencil and King Billy pines, myrtle and the famous fagus (Nothofagus gunnii), which is Tasmania’s only deciduous tree. We will also visit the replica of ‘Waldheim’, the home of Austrian Gustav Weindorfer, whose love of the area inspired the establishment of the national park. Tonight, we will drive back into the national park in the hope of spotting Tasmanian devils and spotted-tailed quolls.

Accommodation: Cradle Mountain Hotel (en suite rooms), Cradle Mountain

Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.

Monday, 27 September 2021 – Cradle Mountain to North Coast

This morning we will visit a wildlife sanctuary where some of Tasmania’s rarer mammal species can be seen, including Tasmanian devils, quolls and wombats. We will then travel to a reserve where we have another excellent chance of seeing platypus before visiting Narawntapu National Park. The park was created as a refuge for the Tasmanian form of eastern grey kangaroo (known locally as Forester kangaroo), which can usually be seen grazing during the late afternoon. This area boasts some impressive marsupial lawns (well-grazed areas frequented by marsupials) that also hold some of the highest densities of Tasmanian pademelons and red-necked wallabies in Tasmania. The area is often referred to as the Serengeti of Tasmania. We will then travel to our accommodation at nearby Hawley Beach where we will enjoy a gourmet home-cooked farewell dinner. After dinner there will be another night walk to search for southern brown bandicoot and long-nosed potoroo.

Accommodation: Hawley House (en suite stable rooms), Hawley Beach. 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021 – Depart Tasmania

This morning we will farewell our fellow travellers and guides and make our way to the airport where we will depart on our homeward journey. 

The closest airport is Devonport and there are daily flights to Melbourne with connections to other Australian capitals from there.

Breakfast included.

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast, 13 x lunches, 13 x dinners
  • Transport and specialist guiding for day and night tours as outlined above
  • Activities and entry fees as outlined in the itinerary  
  • National park entry fees
  • Goods and services tax.

COSTS DO NOT INCLUDE:

  • Domestic flights
  • Pre-registration, late check-out or day use at hotels other than specified above
  • Guide services other than specified
  • Meals/beverages other than specified
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Personal expenditure.

COVID-19

  • Accommodation and meals: Strict hygiene conditions apply to the way accommodation is prepared for your stay and in the serving of meals.
  • Vehicles, hygiene & social distancing: all activities will involve careful adherence to cleanliness. Hand sanitiser will be available in many locations and in all land-based vehicles and water-based vessels. Social distancing will always be an issue on board vehicles and vessels; it would be sensible for you to bring your own face masks and hand sanitiser. We may not fill all seats in a vehicle to allow for social distancing.
  • The government approved COVID-19 Safety Plan is in place and all suppliers are Covid Clean accredited.

TERMS & CONDITIONS
BOOKING FORM